At least 40 acres of wheat crop is being ploughed for swearing-in ceremony of AAP’s Chief Minister-designate Bhagwant Mann, who sports a yellow turban for his reverence to legendary freedom fighter Bhagat Singh to whom he calls his ‘only idol, only mentor and only hero’, to be held in the icon’s ancestral maternal village in Khatkar Kalan on March 16, it is learnt on Monday.
The debt-ridden state government has sanctioned Rs 2.61 crore for the swearing-in ceremony. Officials told IANS the wheat fields will be used for the parking of vehicles of the visitors coming to attend the ceremony that will last less than an hour.
The farmers have been told to plough the standing crop, which is yet to mature, and in lieu they will be paid a compensation of around Rs 46,000 per acre.
Officials did not rule out converting more fields into parking lots if there is indication of a rise in number.
Additional Chief Secretary A. Venu Prasad on Monday took stock of preparedness of the swearing-in ceremony at Khatkar Kalan.
Congress leader Alka Lamba took to Twitter to expose the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). She shared the Punjab government order that says the Revenue and Rehabilitation Department has been asked to allocate Rs 2.61 crore to the Deputy Commissioner of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar for making arrangements for the mega ceremony.
The oath taking ceremony is expected to see a gathering of around 1 lakh people.
In an appeal, Mann requested people to reach Khatkar Kalan on March 16 for the swearing-in ceremony. “I request my brothers to wear ‘basanti’ (yellow) turbans that day and sisters to drape yellow shawls/stoles. We will colour Khatkar Kalan in ‘basanti rang’ that day,” Mann said in a video message.
The AAP had swept the polls by winning 92 of the 117 seats.